Elderly people and young children in the snow at Cote Lane

Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds repeats on Channel 4

Filmed here at the St Monica Trust, the award-winning first series of Old People’s Home for 4 Years repeats on Channel 4 on Saturday 16th May at 7.15pm and Saturday 23rd May 2020 at 7pm.

Hamish, Michael, Linda, Monica, Sheila, Zina, David, Lorna, Pat, Mary and Margaret are all well and in good spirits.

Recorded at the St Monica Trust’s Cote Lane retirement village in April 2017, the ground-breaking social experiment featured eleven retirement village residents and 10 local pre-school children. It put the spotlight on the experience of social isolation, particularly for older people, and the far-reaching mutual benefits of interaction across age groups.

The programme would go on to warm hearts across the UK, pick up multiple awards and inspire a series of programmes under the same title across the world, including Australia, Denmark and second UK series.

An update from Hamish

Hamish was a participant in the first series of Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds and discusses the importance of keeping in touch with others during COVID-19.

“The experience has left me with this lovely family that I can communicate with and I see regularly”

Participant

“Young children carry a magical life force which is infectious”

Participant

Life after Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds

Following the broadcast of the show we continued to develop existing and new intergenerational activities in our retirement communities and care homes. We now proudly offer intergenerational interaction across all our sites in Bristol and North Somerset. From mother and toddler groups to intergenerational choirs and regular school visits - these activities are now very much part of everyday life for those who choose to take part.

Our newest development, The Chocolate Quarter in Keynsham, has become a leading example in the care sector for its intergenerational and community focus. The new development offers retirement living with a range of facilities open to the public to encourage intergenerational use and promote mutually beneficial relationships with the wider community.

In 2019 we published our first Guide to Intergenerational Activity, which has since been downloaded and distributed many hundreds of times. We've contributed chapters to various books and papers on intergenerational contact. Most recently we launched the UK’s first National Intergenerational Week in March 2020, bringing over 100 organisations together online to discuss the merits of mutually beneficial interaction across age groups in its first year.

While our face-to-face activity with young people has been postponed during COVID-19 we’ve been keeping in touch in a number of ways, including letter writing and virtual concerts like this one from our regular visitors at Redmaids’ School.

St Monica Trust during COVID-19

Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds was recorded in a very different time to the one we are now experiencing and it doesn’t reflect the social distancing and infection control procedures currently in operation across all our villages and care homes.

We would like to reassure everyone that, just as it was when we allowed the cameras into the Trust, our focus is always on the well-being of our residents, customers, colleagues and volunteers. Hamish, Michael, Linda, Monica, Sheila, Zina, David, Lorna, Pat, Mary and Margaret are all well and in good spirits. Although coronavirus has temporarily put on hold the preschool children’s regular visits, everyone is looking forward to the day that they can see each other in person once again.

When it was first broadcast, Old People’s Home for 4 Year Old touched the hearts of the nation and raised awareness of the devastating effects that isolation can have on our well-being, particularly for older people. Three years on from when it was filmed, the learnings from this social experiment are more important than ever. So young or old, and whether you do it by phone, letter or from a distance of two metres, why not take the opportunity to ask someone how they are? It could make a real difference to their life, just as it did for our residents and ten preschool children, all those years ago.

Staying connected during COVID-19

You can read more about our ideas on how to keep socially connected during the coronavirus here.

PhoneFacebookui-footShareTwitter-blackYoutube